As promised in part I here is the part II of tools I use and in this part, I will entirely focus on one of my most used and favourite tool called Microsoft OneNote. I use it for almost everything, you may ask “Why?! What is the big deal, I can use Microsoft Word, Google Keep, a paper block or anything else, why MS OneNote?” Yes, that is fully true but you are lacking fundamental structure and essential features that you won’t have in these tools.
Maybe the biggest feature itself is to organisation and structure inside OneNote, it keeps your work, university, private material perfectly organized, and you can get things done. If your project is growing bigger than expected, you are able to quickly restructure your notes by increasing an additional section and turn the existing section into a section group which allows you to split notes into different segments like releases, parts, products, or whatever fits you best. Furthermore, I would say the real power comes with time, the more and the longer you use it, the more it gets to your one and only place to go for.
To give you a little example how that can look like in one of my personal project, a two month trip to Asia, and yes I use OneNote for that 😉.
As you can imagine, various points need to be planned and prepared. How you do that normally? You might google a bit here and there, ask friends and you might even create a Google Docs or an MS Word document. Or maybe you don’t create anything and forget everything the next time you want to plan, right? But what if you want to save all the relevant information in one place, so next time you don’t forget what you already knew, or when you are there, you have direct access to all the very informative information?
Yes exactly, OneNote is fantastic for that purpose. As you can see in blue on the picture below, the initial note grew quick a bit with about 20 pages and sub-pages now.
Of course, I started with only with one page, and only after time researching, more and more came and the structure grew into this. In my opinion, this is really the beauty of OneNote, while most times you have no clue how the structure will look like in the end. Imagine this in a Word document, you wouldn’t find anything and get lost in multiple different files maybe.
One very nice feature is also the little “icons” called custom tags where you can easily add a “to do”, “done” etc. This way you simply follow up and even search after these tags in your note books, section group, sections, pages or subpages. In the same order is also how OneNote is structured.
For example my requirements, I have one notebook for work (each company I work for), a specific one for general knowledge called “Know-how-box” (this can be work related or also personal knowledge from books I read) and then I have a personal one where I put my travels, financials planning, important information about where I live (e.g. immigration in Denmark), and so forth. Further, I had one for my school career and a separate one for my bachelor thesis where we worked in a group of two and shared every note together which reduced the amount of communication and coordination meetings to an absolute minimum. At the end of the day, you’re having all essential information any kind of types in ONE single place.
Up until now I tried to teach you the concept behind OneNote and convince you that it is useful, but let’s get down to the real features it has to offer.
If you find this tool helpful, check out Tools I use – Part I as well. And as always please leave a comment below if you have additions or comments to this post, I’m happy to hear them.
PS: Thanks to Resli for showing me OneNote in the first place ! 😉👌🏻
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